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China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasiaby Peter C. Perdue
Synopses & Reviews
From about 1600 to 1800, the Qing empire of China expanded to unprecedented size. Through astute diplomacy, economic investment, and a series of ambitious military campaigns into the heart of Central Eurasia, the Manchu rulers defeated the Zunghar Mongols, and brought all of modern Xinjiang and Mongolia under their control, while gaining dominant influence in Tibet. The China we know is a product of these vast conquests.
Peter C. Perdue chronicles this little-known story of China's expansion into the northwestern frontier. Unlike previous Chinese dynasties, the Qing achieved lasting domination over the eastern half of the Eurasian continent. Rulers used forcible repression when faced with resistance, but also aimed to win over subject peoples by peaceful means. They invested heavily in the economic and administrative development of the frontier, promoted trade networks, and adapted ceremonies to the distinct regional cultures.
Perdue thus illuminates how China came to rule Central Eurasia and how it justifies that control, what holds the Chinese nation together, and how its relations with the Islamic world and Mongolia developed. He offers valuable comparisons to other colonial empires and discusses the legacy left by China's frontier expansion. The Beijing government today faces unrest on its frontiers from peoples who reject its autocratic rule. At the same time, China has launched an ambitious development program in its interior that in many ways echoes the old Qing policies.
China Marches West is a tour de force that will fundamentally alter the way we understand Central Eurasia.
Perdue illuminates how China came to rule Central Eurasia and how it justifies that control, what holds the Chinese nation together, and how its relations with the Islamic world and Mongolia developed. He offers valuable comparisons to other colonial empires and discusses the legacy left by China's frontier expansion.
2007 Joseph Levenson Book Prize, Pre-1900 Category, China and Inner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies
About the Author
Peter C. Perdue is Professor of History at Yale University.
Table of Contents
Note on Names, Dates, Weights and Measures, and Chinese Characters
PART ONE: THE FORMATION OF THE CENTRAL EURASIAN STATES
2. The Ming, Muscovy, and Siberia, 1400-1600
3. Central Eurasian Interactions and the Rise of the Manchus, 1600-1670
PART TWO: CONTENDING FOR POWER
5. Eating Snow: The End of Galdan, 1690-1697
6. Imperial Overreach and Zunghar Survival, 1700-1731
7. The Final Blows, 1734-1771 Transforming the Barbarians through Trade
PART THREE: THE ECONOMIC BASIS OF POWER
9. Land Settlement and Military
10. Harvests and Relief
11. Currency and Commerce
PART FOUR: FIXING FRONTIERS
13. Marking Time: Writing Imperial History
PART FIVE: LEGACIES AND IMPLICATIONS
15. State Building in Europe and Asia
16. Frontier Expansion in the Rise and Fall of the Qing
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